Wimbledon Day 1 Women’s Predictions–Including Serena Williams vs Arantxa Rus

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The third Grand Slam of the year is upon us. As Wimbledon begins, 128 women will vie to win the title. There are 32 first-round matches on Day 1, and we are here to predict the best five of them. Predicting today are writers Lukas Weese and David Adair, along with editors Steen Kirby and Yesh Ginsburg.

Wimbledon Day 1 Women’s Predictions

Caroline Wozniacki vs Varvara Lepchenko

Lukas:
Caroline Wozniacki is coming off a tournament victory at Eastbourne leading up to the Wimbledon Championships. Entering the tournament as the number two seed, she will be battling American Vavara Lepchenko in the first round. Wozniacki is 6-1 against Lepchenko, last beating her in the first round of Miami earlier this year. Wozniacki’s overall arsenal of weapons will be too strong for Lepchenko. I see this as a comfortable victory for Caroline advancing to the second round.
Prediction: Wozniacki in 2

Steen:
Wozniacki had a great Eastbourne tournament, winning the title. Lepchenko’s form is in shambles, so this should be one way traffic.
Prediction: Wozniacki in 2

David:
Wozniacki owns the head-to-head 6-1, but the pair have never met on grass. That said, the Eastbourne champion shouldn’t really be troubled in this one.
Prediction: Wozniacki in 2

Yesh:
Wozniacki is looking good on grass right now, and will feel more relaxed for the rest of her career now that she finally won a Slam. Lepchenko is talented and can challenge almost anyone, but this task looks like it will be too much.
Prediction: Wozniacki in 2
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Aryna Sabalenka vs Mihaela Buzarnescu

Lukas:
Aryna Sabalenka will be taking on #23 seed Mihaela Buzarnescu in their first round match. This is the third time these ladies have met, with Sabalenka taking the first two matches. Sabalenka recently advanced to the final of Eastbourne, losing to Caroline Wozniacki 7-5, 7-6. It demonstrates she has the game to play on the grass court, which is why I am picking her to advance in the upset over Buzarnescu.
Prediction: Sabalenka in 3

Steen:
Both players have been fantastic on the grass this year and will be full of confidence. Sabalenka should be a little better though.
Prediction: Sabalenka in 3
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David:
20-year-old Belorussian Sabalenka was one of my players to follow this season. There’s been a lot of reactionary writing after Sabalenka’s run to Eastbourne, but the truth is that form should not surprise anyone. Sabalenka leads the head-to-head 2-0. This incorporates a clay victory at Lugano this season and a hard-court one. If Sabalenka plays to her Eastbourne level and Buzarnescu plays to her Birmingham level, then this is definitely the match of the round. It pains me to say it as a Sabalenka fan, but Buzarnescu should just sneak this, on grass.
Prediction: Buzarnescu in 3

Yesh:
This is an incredibly unfortunate draw for both of these players. Buzarnescu’s resurgence has been incredible, while Sabalenka just reached the biggest final of her career, in Eastbourne. Both of these players are in great form and each one deserved a deep run here. The draw was not kind to the players, but that should mean an absolute treat for the fans.
Prediction: Buzarnescu in 3
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Julia Goerges vs Monica Puig

Lukas:
13th seed Julia Georges will be taking on Monica Puig in their first match at Wimbledon. Puig has a 5-1 record over Georges, last beating her at Auckland earlier this year in three sets. Puig has a big game with powerful groundstrokes that work wonders for her on grass. It will be a close match but I see Puig advancing to the second round.
Prediction: Puig in 3

Steen:
Puig didn’t get any warm up matches in and I don’t think this tough match will end well for her. Georges should advance easily.
Prediction: Goerges in 2

David:
A weak second service performance has let Goerges down this year. Puig holds a 5-1 head-to-head lead over the German. This includes a grass court victory in Mallorca 2016. However, her only grass court action this year was a straight sets defeat to Azarenka in an ITF event. I think Goerges will eat into the head-to-head deficit.
Prediction: Goerges in 3

Yesh:
Look for this to be the first upset of the tournament. Goerges looked great a few months ago but not so much now. Puig has owned this matchup in their careers and always is at her best in the bigger tournaments.
Prediction: Puig in 3
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Karolina Pliskova vs Harriet Dart

Lukas:
#7 seed Karolina Pliskova will have to deal with a raucous British crowd, as she faces U.K. hopeful Harriet Dart in the first round. This is Dart’s first ever Grand Slam tournament match. She will be feeling the nerves against an experienced Pliskova. Pliskova has one of the best serves on the WTA, and her left handed groundstrokes will power her way into the second round. Prediction: Pliskova in 2

Steen:
Dart is a rising player but Pliskova is no pushover on grass and at this level she should have enough to an edge to get through the ITF level player.
Prediction: Pliskova in 2

David:
Harriet Dart faces both Pliskova sisters in the space of a week, after scoring a great victory over Kristyna at Eastbourne last Monday. In the end Krystina didn’t have the stomach for the fight, in these circumstances Karolina will. Harriet Dart is an exciting British talent, but the #7 seed may ultimately have too much in her locker. Karolina Pliskova finished 6-1 on grass last year. This year she teeters at 2-2, she should gain the two wins needed for a plus record this year.
Prediction: Pliskova in 3

Yesh:
Dart impressed in the warm up tournaments, and you never know what can happen when a Brit plays in front of the Wimbledon crowd. I don’t think the home favorite will be able to deal with Pliskova’s power, though, but it could be closer than expected.
Prediction: Pliskova in 2
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Serena Williams vs Arantxa Rus

Lukas:
Serena Williams is entering Wimbledon as the #25 seed, which has caused quite the debate and controversy. Regardless, her path to a championship is difficult, especially given she is a mother now and has been battling a lingering injury that forced her to pull out of the French Open. Serena will be rusty at the start but I think her experience and powerful game will be too dominant for Rus, advancing her to the 2nd round.
Prediction: Williams in 2

Steen:
The seven-time Wimbledon champion gets a pretty decent start against an out of form Rus. Serena should be safe in this match.
Prediction: Williams in 2

David:
This all boils down to Serena’s fitness and the fact that the heat may make the Wimbledon courts faster this year. Netherlands’ Rus lost in qualifying in Eastbourne and shouldn’t really trouble Serena.
Prediction: Williams in 2

Yesh:
Assuming her shoulder is healthy, you have to give the advantage to Serena here. There are certainly players in this draw that can challenge the American on grass, but Rus isn’t one of them.
Prediction: Williams in 2

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